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Measuring Child Socio-Economic Position in Birth Cohort Research: The Development of a Novel Standardized Household Income Indicator

Pizzi, Costanza and Richiardi, Matteo and Charles, Marie-Aline and Heude, Barbara and Lanoe, Jean-Louis and Lioret, Sandrine and Brescianini, Sonia and Toccaceli, Virgilia and Vrijheid, Martine and Merletti, Franco and Zugna, Daniela and Richiardi, Lorenzo (2020) 'Measuring Child Socio-Economic Position in Birth Cohort Research: The Development of a Novel Standardized Household Income Indicator.' International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (5). ISSN 1660-4601

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Abstract

The assessment of early life socioeconomic position (SEP) is essential to the tackling of social inequalities in health. Although different indicators capture different SEP dimensions, maternal education is often used as the only indicator in birth cohort research, especially in multi-cohort analyses. Household income, as a direct measure of material resources, is one of the most important indicators, but one that is underused because it is difficult to measure through questionnaires. We propose a method to construct a standardized, cross-cohort comparable income indicator, the “Equivalized Household Income Indicator (EHII)”, which measures the equivalized disposable household income, using external data from the pan-European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EUSILC) surveys, and data from the cohorts. We apply this method to four studies, Piccolipiù and NINFEA from Italy and ELFE and EDEN from France, comparing the distribution of EHII with other SEP-related variables available in the cohorts, and estimating the association between EHII and child body mass index (BMI). We found that basic parental and household characteristics may be used, with a fairly good performance, to predict the household income. We observed a strong correlation between EHII and both the self-reported income, whenever available, and other individual socioeconomic-related variables, and an inverse association with child BMI. EHII could contribute to improving research on social inequalities in health, in particular in the context of European birth cohort collaborative studies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: socioeconomic position; income; birth cohorts; children
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2020 17:32
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2020 18:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29101

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